Primephonic launches digital booklets to bridge gap between streaming and physical media

There often seems a fine line between movie scores and the classics. Basil Poledouris' stirring score for John Milius' Conan The Barbarian is but a short hop on the dial from Gustav Holst’s Mars, the bringer of War, the first movement of The Planets. It’s similarly dramatic and cinematic.

This is just one reason why Primephonic, the high-res streaming audio service focused on the classics, resonates with Team HCC.

Classics is an infuriating vague term, chides Guy Jones, Primephonic’s head of curation. 'It’s like grouping hip-hop and prog-metal under the same banner.' It’s just not very helpful, he tells me.

Of course, when you’re navigating 1,500 years of music, a vague umbrella term is actually quite useful. Being more specific is a little more intimidating, and one reason Primephonic sees one of its main missions as educating its subscribers in a decidedly non-patronising way.

Subscribers to the hi-res service can explore collections by genre and composer, savouring both their best-known pieces and some atypical oddities. Sonic quality is high, with titles available in 24-bit lossless FLAC.

Providing a great jumping on point is Primephonic’s Essential collections - we’d obviously recommend the service’s Film Music Essentials playlist. Opening with the 20th Century Fox film fanfare and Bernard Herrmann’s prelude to Psycho, via Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly theme and John Williams theme Jurassic Park composition, it’s the perfect popcorn companion.

In keeping with its greater ethos, Primephonic has also become the first streaming service in the world to offer accompanying digital CD booklets. Much like the pamphlets packaged in CDs, these PDFs offer expert insight into a title’s history.

Primephonic has produced the all-new booklets in association with Sony, Universal and Harmonia Mundi, as well as hundreds of other smaller labels. Jones tells us that the idea is to produce booklets for as much of its catalogue as possible. An ambitious target, but enthusiasts who relish these bonuses from physical media will appreciate the effort.

A 14-day free trial can be activated on Full subscriptions cost £9.99 (Premium) or £14.99 (Platinum) a month.